Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Signature sows more confusion

The Maxwell Trial: 18

Maxwell aides to take stand

TWO former directors of Maxwell Communication Corporation, Peter Laister and Basil Brookes, are due to enter the witness box this week in the trial of brothers Kevin and Ian Maxwell, Larry Trachtenberg and Robert Bunn.

Television / Till sleaze do them part

FLORA MATLOCK comes from good country stock. The kind of stock you get by simmering large jawbones for two or three centuries. At Cambridge she met Duncan, a grammar-school boy, and was attracted by "his intellect, his commitment and his moral base". Wanting a career where he could use all three, Duncan naturally became a Tory MP and Flora became The Politician's Wife (C4).


Is 'Fawlty Towers' the best British television comedy ever written? To mark its return to BBC1 tonight, John Cleese tells Andrew Davidson in a rare interview how Basil and Manuel were created and why he will never write about them again

Obituary: Basil Skinner

Basil Chisholm Skinner, historian: born Edinburgh 7 November 1923; Director of Extra-Mural Studies, Edinburgh University 1966-79; married (two sons); died Edinburgh 5 April 1995.

True gripes : Basil, please brush off

Urban foxes are a pain. Who needs them?

The last modernist monster

William Scammell salutes the late great Basil Bunting mxczx xcvzx zxarbkjdnfikz nvkfzi zxfkgh kxl nvx;lfijiu;d

Interactive novel for the brave exec

Today I bring you a complete novel, a mini-novel short enough for all businessman who simply don't have the time to read any novel longer than about six inches. It's what we call an interactive novel - in other words, you are the hero and whenever we come to an exciting bit, I give you four options for continuation and you must choose the right one before we go on.

OBITUARIES : The Rev Professor Basil Hall

Basil Hall was one of the finest Church historians in Britain. He pursued excellence, and the result was that for a man of his outstanding gifts and knowledge he published little - a book of essays, Protestants and Humanists, and a number of indi vidual essays and chapters in books. These are very fine and break new ground in a whole range of topics. He was asked to write a chapter on the history of the English Bible and was assured that it should only take him a couple of months. He spent more t han two years on it. It is definitive.

Edinburgh Festival Day 1: Reviews: Dorian Crook with Sir Bernard Chumley

Sir Bernard Chumley makes for a startling spectacle. Combining the jowled countenance of an obese nine-year-old with the attire and mannerisms of an elderly country squire, he holds forth with likely reminiscences of a life in the theatre; like the time he defecated over Felicity Kendal, and other dull old actorly tales you've heard again and again from such luminaries as Peter Ustinov. Mid- stream, he breaks out of character to bark some unintelligible abuse at himself, before lapsing back into raconteur mode with a dignified toss of his rug. Dorian Crook, meanwhile, specialises in the sort of intricate punning Basil Brush fans might appreciate. He was voted The Face's 'Hot Tip for 1994', presumably more for his natty dress sense than comedic ability. Still, Chumley's the chap; as cult as they come.

Gardening: Herbal and verbal comforts: Who can resist a plant called 'hyssop'? Not Anna Pavord, relishing a hotel herb garden in Norfolk with 450 varieties

How many people, when they plant hyssop, the aromatic perennial herb flowering now in blue, white and pink, really believe they are going to brew hyssop teas, distil hyssop oil, or marshal the local bees to produce hyssop honey? We just like the idea that one day we might. Having hyssop makes us feel comfortable. It reassures us that we have not entirely cut ourselves adrift from a long tradition of folk knowledge and thrifty housekeeping.

Catching the flavour of the sun: My summer with basil: our cookery writer indulges in her seasonal fling

Much as I like the idea of fancy basils (cinnamon basil, lemon basil, purple basil et al), there are just two types that really matter in the kitchen.

Gardening: Cuttings: Day of basil

THE Museum of Garden History has arranged a day course on 'The Pot of Basil and the Summer Herb Garden' on 28 July (10am-3pm). Caroline Holmes is in charge, and tickets are available (pounds 40) from the museum at Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB (071-261 1891).
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Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
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Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor